We’re on a 13-game unbeaten streak which has taken us to third in the table with two games in hand on league leaders Hull City who are only three points ahead. Should Sunderland achieve promotion we will need some Championship blood to help us consolidate next season, so without jinxing it, here are five Championship free agents we could target if we get promoted.
JUNINHO BACUNA (HUDDERSFIELD TOWN)
The 23-year-old central midfielder has made 35 appearances in total for 18th placed Huddersfield scoring four and assisting three along the way. Bacuna is a creative player whose strengths lie in his on the ball and passing ability with an impressive 76% pass success rate. This season Bacuna has averaged a match rating of 6.6 in his natural position but can be used both more defensively and offensively with similar success. The Terriers do have the option to activate a 1-year extension, but if they choose not to Bacuna would help bring Championship level football to Sunderland next season.
ACHRAF LAZAAR (WATFORD)
The out of favour Watford left back might be a gamble having not played regular football since 2016 however when Lazaar has played Championship football previously he has always shown the ability is there to be playing at that level. The 29-year-old will surely be looking for a new club come July with Watford looking likely to return to the Premier League at the end of the season, perhaps the we can provide the regular football Lazaar needs.
FAMARA DIÉDHIOU (BRISTOL CITY)
Diédhiou has played upfront for Bristol for four seasons now, scoring roughly 13 goals a season and averaging almost a 7 rating this season. Strong in the air and likes a dribble, the 28-year-old has 8 goals in 20 starting appearances this season so far. Should Sunderland decide to not keep inform Charlie Wyke or look to offload any of their other attacking options after promotion, then Diédhiou could be the answer to getting goals upfront.
MATTHEW OLOSUNDE (ROTHERHAM)
The American right back has been played out of position in most of his appearances for relegation threatened Rotherham this season and with his contract up at the end of the season he could be looking for a way to stay in the second tier of English football. Achieving an average of 7 in his usual right back position this season Olosunde is averaging over two tackles per game and almost the same in interceptions, whilst going forward he has assisted three times this season and made 13 passes per game. With O’Nien and McLaughlin out of contract at the end of the season bringing in a right sided full back might need to be high on the mind of Lee Johnson.
JACK WILSHERE (AFC BOURNEMOUTH)
This last one might be a bit of a stretch, but it would be the biggest sign of intent if we could sign Wilshere on a free. With two FA Cups and a Community Shield to his name, the 29-year-old midfielder has only played nine games for the Cherries since joining in January and with no guarantee of another contract the former Arsenal man could see himself without a club again at the end of the season. A strong dribbler and a composed central midfielder, Wilshere would bring an incredible 87% pass completion to the Stadium of Light as well as an average 6.9 rating when he is played right in the middle of the park.